In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
The Girl: I don’t think I’m going to write my autobiography.
Me: Why not?
TG: Because, where would I start?
I have to give Colorado State University credit: application fees for job candidates is a new low. (Hat tip to William Pannapacker for highlighting it.)
According to its site, applicants for a faculty position in painting have to pay a fifteen dollar fee to submit applications.
Putting on my “evil bureaucrat” hat, I’ve been trying to come up with a justification for a job application fee. Fifteen dollars presumably doesn’t come close to covering the cost of staff time, so it’s probably not about that. And the negative publicity -- you’re welcome! -- should more than offset any piddling revenue gain.
The closest I could get to a rationalization would be to keep the number of applications down. Presumably, folks who know they’re longshots would think twice about applying if they had to pony up some cash. Since art is one of those fields that usually has a surfeit of interested people, the main concern may be keeping the size of the pile down. That’s why colleges charge students application fees; if they didn’t, the theory goes, there’d be nothing to stop the driven ones from applying to thirty places.
But job candidates are in a different position. There’s nothing unusual about candidates applying to thirty or a hundred different places. And for entry-level positions, the candidates are often pretty broke.
I hope CSU rethinks this fee. It just adds insult to injury.
This is one of those “laugh or cry” articles. The Wisconsin Technical College system is looking for a new chancellor. Apparently, enrollments have grown forty percent since 2004, to the point that the system now has a 12,000 student waiting list. But state funding for the system dropped 30 percent in a single year.
So, good luck with that search. Enrollment up forty percent, funding down thirty percent, a hostile Governor, and a five-figure waiting list. Wisconsin is actually making California look good, and that’s saying something.
If you haven’t yet, check out Lee Skallerup’s piece in IHE this week about trying to maintain her human dignity in the context of some pretty dehumanizing institutional practices. It’s thoughtful, ambitious, and humane. It’s clear that she knows where to start.